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How To Create A Pop-Art Mosaic in Photoshop

cool photo effects

This is a fantastic trick for turning your digital photos into pop-art style mosaics using Photoshop. It's a great way to produce creative, bold and fun designs without spending hours in front of the computer!

I think it tends to work best with bright, colourful pictures. But that's not always the case, and it can even be a cool way of processing monotone shots. This dotted mosaic effect works well with all kinds of photos: landscapes, people, urban, architectural, flowers or wildlife!


cool photo effects


cool photo effects


1. First up, choose an image to work on and open it in the Editor workspace of Photoshop.

2. Click on the 'Filter' menu. Go to 'Pixelate', which will bring up another menu, and choose 'Mosaic'.

At this point a dialogue box will open and you need to enter a 'cell size' for the mosaic squares. The best size to choose depends on both the size of the photo you're working on and the kind of final effect you want to achieve.

If it turns out you get it wrong first time, it will take about 30 seconds to go back and change it! I'm working with a relatively large photo, so I've chosen a cell size of 70. Remember the number you input.

cool photo effects


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3. Now open a blank new page by going 'File' > 'New' > 'Blank File'. In the dialogue box enter a height and width the same as the cell size for the mosaic you just chose. This is a really important part of this Photoshop trick! 

Enter a resolution that matches the photo file.

4. Now for the interesting bit of this Photoshop trick! From the toolbar select the Elliptical Marquee tool. (If it is hidden, click and hold on the Rectangular Marquee tool to bring up the other options).

Place the cross hairs in the top left corner of the blank square file and drag out a circle to fill the whole page. We need to delete this circle to leave just the corners remaining.

But there's a problem! The background layer is locked. So double click it in the layers palette and hit 'OK' in the dialogue box that appears. This makes it a normal layer. Now just press backspace to delete your circle selection, or go Edit > Cut.

5. Go to the Edit menu and select 'Define Pattern' from the list. In the window that appears give it a name - something like 'Dots 70px' - and hit OK.

6. Now we get to see what the point of all this is!

Return to the photo. Go Edit > Fill Layer.

A window appears with a heading 'Contents'. From the 'Use' drop down menu make sure 'Pattern' is selected.

Now click the down arrow next to the 'Custom Pattern' menu. Your saved pattern, 'Dots 70px' will appear alongside Photohop's custom ones. Select it and hit 'OK'.

Done! Your picture will now have the cool photo effects for a dotted mosaic applied!

cool photo effects

You can create loads of cool photo effects with this nifty little trick. Play around with the size of dots and colours of the corners (use the paint bucket tool to fill them in). Here are some other examples:

cool photo effects


cool photo effects


cool photo effects


cool photo effects


cool photo effects


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